The Tunnel of Terror: First Haunted Car Wash in Southern California


Anthony Guevara

The Clown Car Wash in Anaheim was a spooky experience that brought the Halloween spirit alive.

Sophia Jones, Photojournalist

Are you ready to enter the Tunnel of Terror? As you arrive at the car wash, Michael Myers greets you. If a door is unlocked, it may be opened by an oncoming monster to enjoy the ride with you. Clowns might honk your horn or be holding a chainsaw. Going through the drive through, there is fog, flashy lights, and spine-chilling frights. 


The first haunted car wash in Southern California has opened in Anaheim at Big Wave Car Wash. It is a one-of-a-kind memorable event for the whole family to enjoy as they go through the whimsical car wash. 


Here’s how it works: Monsters of all different shapes and sizes pop out throughout the car wash. These include all different spooky creatures like ghosts, ghouls, etc. They are accompanied with an array of special effects to create a mystical, eerie effect. There are new, unique surprises found each night at the car wash. 


Throughout the experience, people stay in their car and leave it in neutral (when directed) and keep their hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals throughout the wash. To ensure as much safety as possible, there are friendly ghouls that are there to help direct cars. People of all ages are permitted to enter the wash.


This thriller costs 30 dollars per car, and it is well worth it!


The overall setting of the haunted structure is perfect for Halloween. It is small and tight which adds to the sense of claustrophobia and escalates the tension. The sounds made by the car wash are also very ominous and affect the mood of the car wash that is already terrifying to begin with. 

it is such a good idea to have the haunted house in a  car wash, especially since I love haunted houses. I would love to see all the different elements of it.

— Ishani Bhatt (9)

The whole idea for a haunted car wash started in Covid-19 by Long Vo and Veronica Yang. They loved the different haunted Halloween events that they once attended, such as Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights; however, due to the pandemic, these types of attractions had shut down, so Vo and Yang wanted to keep the Halloween spirit alive. They were able to open their first location in October 2020 and found a lot of success. They sold out quickly and had lines stretched throughout the street of people waiting to get in. They made it a point that they would make it a great experience, yet affordable at the same time. Ishani Bhatt (9) thinks this is a great idea, saying “it is such a good idea to have the haunted house in a  car wash, especially since I love haunted houses. I would love to see all the different elements of it.” With all the haunted house car washes have to offer, from the realistic monsters scaring you to the erry sounds of the car wash, this is a frightening good experience you won’t want to miss!